Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has dismissed predictions that Nigeria will cease to be by 2015.
He described the prediction as wishful thinking that will never come to past and insisted that Nigeria cannot disintegrate.
Speaking in his Minna country home with members of the Correspondents? Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Friday as part of activities to mark his 72nd birthday, the former leader said the prediction is not visible.
Rather he said: ?It will make Nigeria to emerge stronger and more united come 2015. We are only crying of wolf when there is no cause for it.
?Folks forget about disintegration in 2015. I can?t see it happening. A country that will disintegrate, you will know it. It is not something that happens in one or two months. Disintegration of Nigeria is just out of question.?
Describing the proponent of the prediction as ?alarmist?, the former military leader said that the motive behind the prediction was primarily to instil fear in Nigerians and cause unnecessary panic among the people.
According to him: ?People say all sort of things to instil fear. If majority of the people believe in the unity of the country, then why do they worry about someone saying it will disintegrate? I know it wouldn?t; people are just crying wolf.
?Nigeria is one of the amazing countries we have in the world. If you live outside Nigeria and you hear and listen about happenings in the country, you will think the world is coming an end, only for you to come to the country and see the people, they are happy, laughing, attending football matches and doing other things. That is Nigeria for you.?
He then called on the media and the general public to stop playing it up, ?We should stop giving it prominence especially those in the media. The fact is the struggle and challenges currently facing the country will end up making her a great nation.?
Babangida also foreclosed a violent general election in 2015, maintaining that like every other past elections, ?2015 election will come and go?.
He predicted that the conduct of the election will be peaceful and Nigeria will improve after the election.
?There are people assigned the responsibility of the election. The politicians, the followers who will vote, aspirants seeking for people?s mandate are all in place. It is not a rat race.?
He however advised that electorates should endeavour to elect leaders with good credentials who believe in the Project Nigeria and have her interest at heart during the next general elections.
According to him: ?What we need is leaders who have a good understanding of what we want to achieve and look for people who share the same view and work with them.?
He singled out former President Olusegun Obasanjo as one of such leaders who has the interest of the nation at heart.
?My boss, General Obasanjo, there is one thing that we cannot take from him, he believes in the unity of the country. You can?t take it away and this is what we all believe in. So anyone who believes in the unity of this country at any level, I think should be the leaders to vote for.?